Friday, April 28, 2006
  Remember when I mentioned the school of lookdowns under the pier?

P4160347_edited-1, originally uploaded by tiswango.

This is the very place I went diving, probably an hour before I got there, and this is just what it looked like.

Cool, eh? Mad props to Matt Hoe for this awesome picture.

Hopefully I'll be getting pics of last night's dive up soon.. He's working on them. Matt got a brand spankin' new $800 strobe for his birthday, so last night was its maiden run. We had a dive that lasted 5 minutes short of two hours - my longest dive yet! I came up with NO AIR. No air at all. But I started the dive with somewhere around 2700-2800 PSI (normally you started with 3000 or a bit over) and I had a slight equipment malfunction (air bubbles streaming from my gauge console). Otherwise, I would've come up with some air to spare.. Considering I nearly breathed a 3000+ tank dry in 80 minutes before, 115 minutes is a big improvement. :)

Now, what did we see? The reef is just crawling with life at night, literally. Sea bugs. Little wormy things. Something that look way too much like centipedes. Lots of crabs. A sea cucumber. A parrotfish in its little sleeping bag o' saliva. A very odd looking, sleepy pufferfish. I got face-to-face with a coronetfish and Matt got pics. Four tiny little baby squid. A crab using a sponge as camouflage; it cracked me up. I got it out from under the rock it was hiding so Matt could get some pictures, then felt bad as I was swimming off that it was out in the open, so I made the little crab even crabbier by grabbing him again and tucking him away. Oh yeah, and I saw one lookdown. "Where are all your friends?"

I didn't realize we had jawfish here. I've seen a few particularly mean-looking "blennies" but thought that's all they were. Last night, I realized that one of these guys was a jawfish when I saw all the eggs in its mouth catch my dive light's reflection. A jawfish! Awesome! The boy jawfish incubate their young in their mouths. See?

So, yes, it was a great dive. It was pretty darn cold at the beginning.. 40 minutes in, I didn't think I could make it much longer. But then I hit some warm spots and saw enough things to take my mind off it. So, yes, awesome.

How I love the diving. :) This weekend, we're supposed to have pretty awful conditions, so I'm glad I got at least one dive in this week while I could. Wednesday night, I went to go diving with Paul (who I met last Sunday), but he got spooked when we got in the water and thumbed the dive. We had vodka & cranberries instead, so I wasn't really complaining. But now.. Oh, I wish I would have been able to make the dive! You always see something awesome and noteworthy on these dives..
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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